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Why the First 20 Minutes Of a Date Are Everything!

You’re swapping small talk and ordering drinks, but you’re also exchanging cues about your potential long-term match. Here’s what goes down.

2 to 4 Seconds in

Your brain is working two-fold to (1) judge his face for physical appeal and (2) determine whether he’d be a good personality match for you, a recent study on speed dating found.

30 Seconds in

Because our ancestors spoke with their bodies rather than language, we learn more from gestures than words when first meeting someone. If he’s facing you directly, you have his full attention. If he’s leaning in, his interest is up; his walls, down.

5 Minutes in

As your conversation gets going, you’re mapping similarities—in background, values, looks, etc. That’s because, evolutionarily speaking, you’re more compatible with someone who’s like you.

10 Minutes in

We’re wired to mimic those we find attractive, so connected couples unknowingly mirror each other’s movements. If you’re drawn to him, you might start sipping at the same time.

20 minutes in

Our ancestors wouldn’t accept food from a stranger, so sharing plates on a first date shows trust, which is key for the foundation of a strong bond.